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Meanwhile, in amongst Independents and Others… a new party? July 20, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

Having been out in the sun all morning I’m hiding from it now. It gets like that after two, is it two, weeks of more or less continuous sunshine and another week to go. And what do I read here in the shade in the IT? Well Miriam Lord writing today that:

…the Technical Group has more splinters than a broken plank. Mick Wallace and Ming Flanagan’s row with the group over speaking rights at Leaders’ Questions has intensified, with the pair said to be taking legal advice.

They insist they are being denied their chance to perform at the high-profile Dáil slot, even though Séamus Healy and Stephen Donnelly were chosen in a straight vote. “Defunct democracy” is how one of them put it.

The talk of court action and injunctions continues, with Ming insisting at this week’s group meeting that Healy and Donnelly’s turn in September “is not going to happen”.

That’s all very well, and no doubt we’ll see how it pans out. But while interesting – in a silly season way, and perhaps because of what it might herald for the broader perception of the Indo/Others by the electorate if there are significant ruptures, it isn’t quite as interesting as the following:

And there are rumblings that former Labour junior minister Róisín Shortall has opened talks with a number of left-leaning Independent TDs with a view to giving voters an alternative to the Labour Party. We understand she had talks with Thomas Pringle, among others, this week.

Could it be? Would Pringle work with Shortall? And isn’t this a rather unlikely source for any such ‘alternative to the LP’ to be coming from? One would think Broughan and Nulty would be much more likely to take the lead in any such venture. It’s not as if there isn’t scope there for such a party, though as with the FG apostates it would presumably lack the numbers to gain any additional speaking time and other rights/service provision from the Oireachtas. And consider the individuals who might sign up. Murphy maybe though maybe not, Pringle, Halligan perhaps, O’Sullivan almost certainly not. Who else? McGrath (F), erm… I’m scratching my head here, who else? Okay, throw in Keaveney, Nulty and Broughan (a bit unlikely, but still) and maybe. But I’m just not convinced.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be too big an ask for those who have contested elections as Independents to break for a ‘new party’ thereby jettisoning a significant portion of their electoral appeal. And what profit them to do so otherwise? In any case I’d have thought that Shortall was on a trajectory that sooner or later would bring her back to the LP. Would anyone else seek to join her on that trajectory? Again, unlikely.

Mind you Lord isn’t far wrong about TDs of all persuasions heading for the exits as fast as possible now the term is over. It’s not just the good weather, not after the similarly heated last few weeks in the Dáil. Sadly the Seanad have a while longer to go before they finish up.

Says Enda Kenny. Ba dum dam tish!

I’ll get my sunglasses.


1. Jolly Red Giant - July 20, 2013

Is this the same Roisin Shortall who resigned from the government because it wouldn’t implement the most right-wing neo-liberal economic porgramme in the history of the state?


2. doctorfive - July 20, 2013


3. Michael O'Brien - July 22, 2013

Dáil standing orders currently only allow for one technical group in the Dáil which must:

1) Have at least 7 members
2) Be open to all eligible members (non party deputies and deputies in parties with less than 7 members in the Dáil)
3) Have a majority of the eligible people signed up

Currently only Lowry, Grealish and Healy Rae have opted out of the Technical group in this Dáil and none of those TDs who have been booted out of their Party’s have opted themselves in but this is the only current route available to them if they want to claim as of right a share of speaking time etc.

Otherwise they are left as is the case with the afore mentioned opt-outs to go cap in hand to FF, SF or the Tech group looking for scraps of unused speaking time.

I’d imagine that the Government will resist allowing some kind of Tech group Mark II because it would mean Kenny having to face a fourth questioner on a daily basis during leaders’ questions etc


Jolly Red Giant - July 22, 2013

And a further point on this one – if by some miracle – seven TD’s got together to form a new ‘party’ the new party would not be recognised as a Dail group as the TDs were not elected as representatives of said ‘party’.


4. doctorfive - August 4, 2013

more on this in the Sunday Times

Pringle, Halligan & Murphy along with the Dáil defectors.

“a lot of Labour voters have nowhere to go”


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